More and more women are ditching dairy when breastfeeding because they notice their baby is extra fussy, cries inconsolably, or appears uncomfortable or other reasons. Cow’s milk products are the most common food that’s been linked to fussiness/gassiness in babies….well yeah, it’s milk of a different species that require a different milk composition than us humans do, and for a baby with an immature gut, they’re not always able to digest the cow milk protein. Some babies are fine, but a lot are not.
It takes about 2-3+ weeks of eliminating dairy in the diet before noticing a difference in the baby (it won’t happen overnight). Make sure when you read labels, look out for whey, casein, lactose because that’s all dairy. When deciding to ditch dairy, it’s critical to replace those nutrients, like calcium, protein, phosphorus, vitamin D and even probiotics. I too often see women cut out dairy and not replace those lost nutrients with other foods. I am all for women cutting out dairy as I don’t believe we NEED to have it for a healthy diet, but it’s important to get the nutrients from other foods.
Some great food sources of calcium are broccoli, dark leafy greens (collard greens, bok choy, kale), almonds, sesame seeds, firm tofu (the firmer it is, the more calcium it has), fortified orange juice and other fortified foods. Vitamin D – mushrooms, sunlight, fortified foods. Protein – pretty much all vegetables have at least small amounts, beans/legumes, tofu, nuts/seeds, tempeh, lean meats (but I try to encourage plant-based as much as I can). Probiotics – tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, pickles, and probiotic drinks. There is kombucha, however, some studies have shown it’s contraindicated with breastfeeding, mostly because of the negligible amount of alcohol and its sanitation (since it must sit out), but its up for debate.
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